Edmund S. Phelps

Edmund S. Phelps is McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University and founder of Columbia's Center on Capitalism and Society. He was the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

  • Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Edmund S. Phelps and Hans-Werner Sinn

    Leading economists consider the apparent underperformance of the European economy, testing various explanations against data.

    Economists disagree on what ails the economies of continental western Europe, which are widely perceived to be underperforming in terms of productivity and other metrics. Is it some deficiency in their economic system—in economic institutions or cultural attitudes? Is it some effect of their welfare systems of social insurance and assistance? Or are these systems healthy enough but weighed down by adverse market conditions?

    In this volume, leading economists test the various explanations for Europe's economic underperformance against real-world data. The chapters, written from widely varying perspectives, demonstrate the shortcomings and strengths of some methods of economics as much as they do the shortcomings and strengths of some economies of western continental Europe. Some contributors address only income per head or per worker; others look at efficiency and distortions of national choices such as that between labor and leisure; still others look at job satisfaction, fulfillment, and rates of indigenous innovation. Many offer policy recommendations, which range from developing institutions that promote entrepreneurship to using early education to increase human capital.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99


  • Lives of the Laureates, Sixth Edition

    Lives of the Laureates, Sixth Edition

    Twenty-three Nobel Economists

    Roger W. Spencer and David A. Macpherson

    Autobiographical accounts by Nobel laureates reflect the richness and diversity of contemporary economic thought and offer insights into the creative process.

    Lives of the Laureates offers readers an informal history of modern economic thought as told through autobiographical essays by twenty-three Nobel Prize laureates in Economics. The essays not only provide unique insights into major economic ideas of our time but also shed light on the processes of intellectual discovery and creativity. The accounts are accessible and engaging, achieving clarity without sacrificing inherently difficult content.

    This sixth edition adds four recent Nobelists to its pages: Eric Maskin, who illustrates his explanation of mechanism design with an example involving a mother, a cake, and two children; Joseph Stiglitz, who recounts his field's ideological wars linked to policy disputes; Paul Krugman, who describes the insights he gained from studying the model of the Capitol Hill Babysitting Coop (and the recession it suffered when more people wanted to accumulate babysitting coupons than redeem them); and Peter Diamond, who maps his development from student to teacher to policy analyst.

    Lives of the Laureates grows out of a continuing lecture series at Trinity University in San Antonio, which invites Nobelists from American universities to describe their evolution as economists in personal as well as technical terms. These lectures demonstrate the richness and diversity of contemporary economic thought. The reader will find that paths cross in unexpected ways—that disparate thinkers were often influenced by the same teachers—and that luck as well as hard work plays a role in the process of scientific discovery.

    The Laureates Lawrence R. Klein • Kenneth J. Arrow • Paul A. Samuelson • Milton Friedman • George J. Stigler • James Tobin • Franco Modigliani • James M. Buchanan • Robert M. Solow • William F. Sharpe • Douglass C. North • Myron S. Scholes • Gary S. Becker • Robert E. Lucas, Jr. • James J. Heckman • Vernon L. Smith • Edward C. Prescott • Thomas C. Schelling • Edmund S. Phelps • Eric S. Maskin • Joseph E. Stiglitz • Paul Krugman • Peter A. Diamond

    • Hardcover $37.00 £29.00
  • Money, Crises, and Transition

    Money, Crises, and Transition

    Essays in Honor of Guillermo A. Calvo

    Carmen M. Reinhart, Carlos A. Végh, and Andrés Velasco

    Essays by prominent scholars and policymakers honor one of the most influential macroeconomists of the last thirty years, discussing the themes behind his work.

    Guillermo Calvo, one of the most influential macroeconomists of the last thirty years, has made pathbreaking contributions in such areas as time-inconsistency, lack of credibility, stabilization, transition economies, debt maturity, capital flows, and financial crises. His work on macroeconomic issues relevant for developing countries has set the tone for much of the research in this area and greatly influenced practitioners' thinking in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. InMoney, Crises, and Transition, leading specialists in Calvo's main areas of expertise explore the themes behind this impressive body of work.

    The essays take on the issues that have fascinated Calvo most as an academic, a senior advisor at the International Monetary Fund, and as the chief economist at the Inter-American Development Bank: monetary and exchange rate policy (both in theory and practice); financial crises; debt, taxation, and reform; and transition and growth. A final section provides a behind-the-scenes look at Calvo's career and intellectual journey and includes an interview with Calvo himself.

    Contributors Leonardo Auernheimer, Fabrizio Coricelli, Padma Desai, Allan Drazen, Sebastian Edwards, Roque B. Fernández, Stanley Fischer, Ricardo Hausmann, Bostjan Jazbec, Peter Isard, Graciela L. Kaminsky, Michael Kumhof, Amartya Lahiri, Igal Magendzo, Enrique G. Mendoza, Frederic S. Mishkin, Igor Masten, Pritha Mitra, Alejandro Neut, Maurice Obstfeld, Edmund S. Phelps, Assaf Razin, Carmen M. Reinhart, Francisco Rodriguez, Efraim Sadka, Ratna Sahay, Rajesh Singh, Evan Tanner, Carlos A. Végh, Andrés Velasco, Rodrigo Wagner

    • Hardcover $16.75 £13.99
  • Revisiting Keynes

    Revisiting Keynes

    Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren

    Lorenzo Pecchi and Gustavo Piga

    Leading economists revisit a provocative essay by John Maynard Keynes, debating Keynes's vision of growth, inequality, work, leisure, entrepreneurship, consumerism, and the search for happiness in the twenty-first century.

    In 1931 distinguished economist John Maynard Keynes published a short essay, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” in his collection Essays in Persuasion. In the essay, he expressed optimism for the economic future despite the doldrums of the post-World War I years and the onset of the Great Depression. Keynes imagined that by 2030 the standard of living would be dramatically higher; people, liberated from want (and without the desire to consume for the sake of consumption), would work no more than fifteen hours a week, devoting the rest of their time to leisure and culture. In Revisiting Keynes, leading contemporary economists consider what Keynes got right in his essay—the rise in the standard of living, for example—and what he got wrong—such as a shortened work week and consumer satiation. In so doing, they raise challenging questions about the world economy and contemporary lifestyles in the twenty-first century.

    The contributors—among them, four Nobel laureates in economics—point out that although Keynes correctly predicted economic growth, he neglected the problems of distribution and inequality. Keynes overestimated the desire of people to stop working and underestimated the pleasures and rewards of work—perhaps basing his idea of “economic bliss” on the life of the English gentleman or the ideals of his Bloomsbury group friends. In Revisiting Keynes, Keynes's short essay—usually seen as a minor divertissement compared to his other more influential works—becomes the catalyst for a lively debate among some of today's top economists about economic growth, inequality, wealth, work, leisure, culture, and consumerism.

    Contributors William J. Baumol, Leonardo Becchetti, Gary S. Becker, Michele Boldrin, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Robert H. Frank, Richard B. Freeman, Benjamin M. Friedman, Axel Leijonhufvud, David K. Levine, Lee E. Ohanian, Edmund S. Phelps, Luis Rayo, Robert Solow, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Fabrizio Zilibotti

    • Hardcover $7.75 £6.95
    • Paperback $20.00 £14.99